The Weber State University men’s basketball team cruised to its 21st win of the year on Thursday night against California State University, Sacramento, taking a 70-55 win on the road.
Head coach Randy Rahe said the team had been working hard to get ready for the game and he was happy to see the preparation paid off.
“We were ready to play tonight, and we had to be ready against a tough Sacramento State team,” Rahe said.
The Hornets struck first, but WSU quickly answered, tying the game at two early in the first half. Davion Berry gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game a few seconds later, hitting two foul shots. Berry scored the first four points for WSU.
The Wildcats scored seven straight points before John Dickson hit a three for CSUS to keep it in the game. CSUS played tough defense in the first half, forcing WSU into poor shots and getting blocked shots. At one point, Dickson had back-to-back blocks.
Despite the tough defense, the Wildcats maintained the lead, going up 14-11 with 12 minutes left in the half. With nine minutes left, the Hornets pulled within two points. A minute later, the Hornets tied the game at 18.
WSU played well in transition, taking advantage of mistakes by the Hornets. Scott Bamforth regained the lead for WSU with a three off a CSUS turnover with seven minutes left in the half.
Despite WSU being in the lead for much of the half, CSUS wouldn’t go away, keeping the score close throughout the half. With three minutes left, CSUS cut the WSU lead to one. WSU, however, pushed the lead to eight by halftime.
Throughout the first part of the second half, WSU controlled the game. While the Hornets kept the score within 10 points for much of the half, the Wildcats were never threatened. After the 10-minute mark of the half, WSU was able to open up its lead, pushing it to 14 points with 8:38 remaining in regulation. A minute later, WSU pushed its lead to 17.
WSU had its biggest lead with six minutes left in the game, going up by 19 points. Then the Hornets started trying to cut into the lead. They managed to pull within 13, but it was too little too late, and the Wildcats held on for a 70-55 lead.
“I was really proud of our team, how we fought and played hard in a tough environment and found a way to win,” Rahe said. “We were able to knock down some big shots in the second half that made a difference for us.”
Berry led the Wildcats with 22 points, the eighth time this season he has reached 20 or more points. Berry was 7-11 from the field, including 4-7 from 3-point range, and also added seven assists and five rebounds.
Bamforth added 14 points and was 4-6 from 3-point range. He also moved into 13th place on the WSU career scoring list.
Freshman Joel Bolomboy added 11 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Frank Otis was just 2-13 from the field, but pulled down a game-high eight rebounds. It was the 15th conference win for the Wildcats.
Now the Wildcats will travel to Northern Arizona University before returning home to finish their season against Portland State University and Eastern Washington University.